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Oliver Perez in one of his usual poses on the mound
This trade has haunted Mets fans for the past five years, and it was all due to a midnight craving for Dominican food.
In late July 2006, the Mets were in Miami for a series with the Marlins. Successful reliever Duaner Sanchez had a craving for Dominican food following a game and decided to take a taxi ride to go in search of a restaurant. The taxi was involved in an accident which left Sanchez with a separated shoulder that would have him out for the rest of the year.
As it occurred right before the trading deadline, the Mets decided that it was necessary to replace Sanchez in the bullpen. On July 31, 2006 they sent newly acquired outfielder Xavier Nady to the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for 41-year-old reliever Roberto Hernandez and lefty starter Oliver Perez.
While Nady was a good player and had put up good numbers in his half season with the Mets, this trade was disastrous more for who the Mets received than gave up.
To be fair, Hernandez was decent and went 8-6 with 4 saves and a 2.58 ERA in the Mets division winning season.
Perez was a young lefty with a tendency to be wild and inconsistent. He performed well enough in the 2006 postseason to become a part of the Mets' starting rotation the following year. He put up decent numbers in 2007 but started to show signs of what was to come in 2008 when he led the league in walks with 105.
For whatever reason, the Mets rewarded Perez with a three-year $36 million contract, and he has been a plague on the club ever since. Injuries, a refusal to go down to the minors and terrible form are all the Mets received for their investment.
In 2010 Perez went 0-5 with a 6.80 ERA. He was released by the Mets in early 2011 with $12 million still owed to him by the club.
As for Sanchez, the once-feared reliever never regained his form. Last season he was pitching for the Long Island Ducks of the Independent Atlantic League.